Tenerife is best known for its volcanic sandy beaches, family-friendly holiday resorts and championship golf courses. But it also has a handful of urban areas perfect for city slickers to explore. The island’s capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, provides a fantastic change of scenery and a glimpse of metropolitan life.
Breakfast at Strasse Park
Start your day with a traditional Canarian breakfast at Strasse Park. This stylish and modern cafe blends in seamlessly with the neighbouring park. You’ll find a host of delicious bites and drinks. Keep it simple like the locals and order a cafe con leche (a frothy milky coffee similar to a cappuccino). Pair it with a bocadillo de serrano con tomaquet (a baguette filled with cured ham and crushed tomatoes).
Explore Parque Garcia Sanabria
After filling up on breakfast, take an early morning stroll around the Parque Garcia Sanabria park that lines the cafe. This charming green space is filled with towering palm trees, tropical flowers and verdant hedges that line the intertwining pathways. Every now and then you’ll come across an eye-catching sculpture or fountain created by a talented artist.
See royal mummies at the Museo de Naturaleza y Arqueologia
Come face-to-face with genuine mummies at the Museo de Naturaleza y Arqueologia (Museum of Nature and Archaeology). The museum is home to a fascinating display of mummified remains of Guanches — the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands. You can see important mummies and their valuable belongings, as well as the tiny bodies of mummified babies.
Shop at Mercado Municipal Nuestra Señora de Africa
The Mercado Municipal Nuestra Señora de Africa is an absolute must for any foodie in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. This open-air market is brimming with stalls selling everything from seasonal local produce to fresh meat and fish. Shop for dried spices, loose-leaf teas, flavoured cheeses, baked goods, handmade jewelry and flowers. You can spend hours just wandering around the stalls, even if you don’t buy a single thing.
Lunch at Mercado Municipal Nuestra Señora de Africa
When you’re done shopping, walk downstairs and choose a place to eat at the market’s food court. There’s a small selection of cafes and tapas bars here, but the most popular place is definitely the seafood restaurant. Here you can treat yourself to delights such as prawn carpaccio, tuna ceviche and freshly-shucked oysters. Enjoy a glass of crisp white Tenerife wine with your meal.
Relax at Playa de Las Teresitas
Playa de Las Teresitas is one of the few golden beaches on the island. It’s a wonderful place to enjoy a siesta after a busy morning sightseeing. On-site facilities include sun loungers and parasols available to hire, as well as beach bars selling snacks and drinks. You can hop on a local bus from the city centre to reach this beach. But if you’ve got a car, it’s definitely worth driving there. Stop first at the Playa de Las Teresitas viewing point for an amazing shot of the beach from high above.